Wedding DIY #1 – Hessian Aisle Runner

I wanted to share some of the DIY’s I made for our wedding last November, partially because I’m wicked proud of them and partially so others might be inspired. There’s quite a few DIY’s  that I made, so I’ve decided to post them in segments so as not to overload anyone with the details.

I realise there are SO many pins, ideas and photos out there basically showing the exact same things that I’m going to share, but I want to share some of the things I’d do differently in the hope that others will benefit from our experience. There will be some learnings for anyone looking to tackle their own wedding DIY’s.

To give you some background, I hadn’t owned, or sewed anything in my life before making things for our wedding. Tackling any of these projects was a momentous step for me, and lead me down the track of feeling confident to attempt quilting, which then reinspired my cross stitching .. So our wedding really was a big milestone in more ways than one!


1. HESSIAN AISLE RUNNER

Hessian Aisle Runner

We had a garden wedding, and I wasn’t fond of a red or white aisle runner like so many of the companies in Perth were offering. Red or white wouldn’t have fit our theme, which was casual, relaxed, and a little vintage I suppose. I made heaps of bunting (I’ll get to that later), so I decided to tackle a hessian aisle runner.

I realised that aisle runners were actually quite long when I thought about it, and quite wide too. So, I went to my local Spotlight and looked at rolls of hessian in varying colours. Thankfully the rolls were in widths of 1.5m, and I decided this would be wide enough for ours, so I just had to determine the length, which ended up being 8m’s.

If you’re using hessian for anything at all, please use pinking shears. These cut with a slight zig zag, to stop the hessian from fraying all over the place. There were about $30 AUD from my local Spotlight, but they were a great help, and made for a great feature for our bunting (stayed tuned!). Also, take the drink of your choice and place in fridge to chill .. Trust me, you’ll need this celebratory drink later on!

Hessian Aisle Runner

Seeing as our was a garden wedding, there was no way I could make a hessian aisle runner long enough to cover the whole distance, so I made it long enough to cover the chairs we had only. Getting 8m of hessian through my baby basic sewing machine was hard enough, so I can’t imagine what 10-15m would’ve been like!

Our colour theme was navy blue, lime green and white / light grey accents. I decided to line our hessian runner with wide navy blue ribbon, and overlay that ribbon with a lace feature.

I wanted to avoid having to put that much hessian through my sewing machine, so I tried to pin the ribbon and lace together so I only had to stitch once. This didn’t work. It was too hard to keep the ribbon and lace combination straight, and stop the hessian from curling under the sewing machine so I resigned myself to putting all the hessian through my sewing machine 4 times (1 ribbon and 1 lace layer, for left and right side of runner).

1 thing I quickly came to terms with was that there was no way this was going to be perfect, but I decided I was okay with that because it gave the aisle runner some character. My stitching lines are wonky if you look closely at it, but let’s be honest (insert Pitch Perfect line here), nobody is going to be looking that closely.

Hessian Aisle Runner 1

Once I’d finished sewing the aisle runner, part of me started to worry about all the bits coming off on people’s clothing, and I was particularly concerned with my dress. By ‘bits’ I mean all the hairy hessian parts that fly everywhere when you’re working with it. To combat this, I took the runner outside and gave it an enormous dose of hairspray.

Yep, hairspray. I couldn’t think of anything else to use, so if you have a better solution I’m all ears!


LEARNINGS

  1. Patience is a must. Getting that much hessian through your sewing machine is a mammoth task. It took me about 5 hours in total to completely finish it, and I decided to power through it all in one go, which brings me to my new learning.
  2. Move any unrequired pieces of furniture, fragile pieces, or finnicky pieces somewhere out of the way. Hessian makes a lot of mess with all it’s little hairy bits, and you just have to embrace that if you want to make one of these.
  3. Try and buy a ribbon fabric and lace all in one. If you can’t stitch your ribbon and lace together before you stitch it onto your hessian aisle runner. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it at the time .. It would’ve saved me having to pass all that hessian through my sewing machine so many times, so I’m kicking myself now, but that’s apart of this post .. Sharing things to make it easier on people later.
  4.  Don’t try and make your ends straight and perfect. Hessian frays, like a crap load, so cutting it straight even with pinking shears is pointless. Just fold the end over when it comes to your big day, and secure it like this .. Your ends will be straight this way!

 


 

Once you’ve completed your aisle runner, take the drink out of the fridge and toast yourself .. Because you just did an awesome job of DIY’ing your own hessian aisle runner! Not only did you save yourself a ton of money by not hiring a normal red or white one .. You’ll look back on it with fond memories and think, ‘Yeah, I totally kicked your butt hessian!’ *fist pump*

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Beginner Embroidery Pattern & Basic Stitches

Now that I’ve finished my Home Sweet Home cross stitch (I haven’t put a finished photo up just yet), I’m going to begin my embroidery journey.

This is pretty exciting, and I’ve been looking at various tutorials and such showing how to do all sorts of stitches. I never knew there were so many! This aspect is both daunting and exciting. I mean, with cross stitch once you master the ‘X’, you’ve mastered all the stitches you’ll need, and then you can brush up on the other small elements .. But with embroidery, this is not the case at all!

Anywho, I’m trying not to feel overwhelmed by all the amazing stitches I’ve seen. I’m just going to stitch with the basics, and the ones I’m hoping to tackle are;

  • Back Stitch,
  • Chain Stitch,
  • Stem Stitch,
  • Split Stitch,
  • Lazy Daisy, and
  • French Knot.

I found a lovely free patterns thanks to Amy at Nana Company. It’s a Mother Teresa phrase, and if you’d like to try your own Amy’s free pattern can be found here.

Nana Company – Do Small Things with Great Love Free Pattern

First of all, I love this phrase. It’s so true .. And I’m super inspired by Amy’s because it looks SO great!

And second of all, this is simple enough (touch wood!), and will allow me to practice embroidering words .. So fingers crossed all goes well.

Here goes! 

Are there any other basic stitches that you think I should learn?

WIP – Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch

Awhile back I  shared a pattern I came up with for a good friend who is currently building her own house .. Check it here.

Whilst browsing Etsy for a side table (read that as cross stitch pattern), I stumbled upon this amazing pattern.

I instantly loved it. Like a wholllle lot. I love ombre, I love typography, I love leaves .. So really, this pattern is perfect.

Now you might be thinking, “Hey Erin, you might love it .. but it’s not actually FOR you,” but thankfully, Miss A and I have very similar tastes.

I wanted to share some progress shots because I’m pretty excited about this one.

Turquoise ombre .. SWOOOOON! This is my WIP before I try and tackle embroidery like I mentioned here.

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Font & Text – Cross Stitch and Embroidery

So recently whilst I’ve been making up some patterns, I’ve found very few cross stitch fonts out there which make me jump up and down with inspiration. By cross stitch fonts, I mean typical 1 – 14 cross high, 1 – 14 cross wide fonts.

Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. Maybe I’m being too picky, but nothing out there suits the designs that I’d like. Or so I thought until I stumbled upon this bad boy in a 5 year old post.

Bible De Lettres A Point De Croix – Tome 1.

When I saw BIBLE, and cross stitch letters I got pretty darn excited. I ordered from Amazon, and it’s going to take 1 – 2 months to arrive, but I was able to see some sample fonts and I’m pretty excited for when I get this bad boy in the mail.

Once I’ve received said bible, I’ll share some positives or negatives .. So don’t run out an buy a copy just yet (if you were thinking about it).

Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely found some wonderful, inspiring fonts out there .. But I’ve realised I love wide sweeping, cursive kind of fonts, and it’s a little hard to achieve this on 14 count aida, without the words appearing too big.

So.

I’m going to try to learn how to embroider. All of the fonts that I absolutely loved were all embroidered on.

I’ve never embroidered anything before. Don’t even know where to begin .. But I really want to incorporate some embroidery into my next cross stitch designs, because I feel like that’s going to open up a world of possibilities.

For all your embroidery gurus out there, how did you learn? What did you do to start?

I’ve looking at quite a few websites on beginner embroidering, and I just need to take the plunge I think. I’m going to finish off my current cross stitch piece, and get stuck into learning how to embroider and all the stitches that come along with it.

I’m excited for a new little craft branch. I might get around to learning about it, and find I can’t do it or it doesn’t suit me etc etc.. BUT I think knowing whether I at least like / can do it will answer many questions that are currently in my head.

I would love any tips you’d share with a beginner embroider .. So please feel free to share the love and your learning with me! :)

No Bake Peanut Butter & Chocolate Slice

I made this no bake peanut butter & chocolate slice recipe on the weekend for a girlfriend’s tea party, and I decided I just HAD to share it with you all as it went down a complete treat.

No photos of the before, during or aftermath of demolition of this recipe though unfortunately, as it was the first time I’d made it and I wasn’t sure if it was going to a flop or a success .. I’m so glad I tried it out though!

I would definitely recommend trying this one out .. All the ingredients are generally in your pantry, and it goes down an absolute treat! Mr A’s favourite combination is peanut butter and chocolate, and this recipe was so easy it’s going into my tea party list!

One note though, for those of you in Australia .. Confectioner’s sugar is icing sugar here in Oz, and you can replace graham crackers with Nice biscuits (which are lovely thanks to that extra lil sprinkly of sugar)! 

If you haven’t already tried making this Mars Bar Slice, give this a shot too!

Enjoy xx